Let’s take a look into the future! Visualize your child coping with anxiety and their big emotions. What does that look like? How would life change for them?
You probably have no problem imagining your child gaining new skills in sports, school, music, and other endeavors, but have you ever let your mind wander to how life would change if your child got a handle on their anxiety? What if they had the skills they need to cope with anxiety? Have you ever given a thought to how much happier they could be?
Let’s go down that road together.
So, what happens when you start teaching your child coping skills and ways to manage their anxiety and big emotions? What changes happen for your child when you use targeted parenting strategies? Parenting strategies focused on altering responses, identifying emotions, changing thought patterns and handling stress.
Good things happen! And you see that change in how they view themselves, their friends and their family.
Their Self Image Changes
One of the biggest changes you’ll see is your child’s view of themselves will change. They will understand that they aren’t “weird.” Lots of people struggle with anxiety and big emotions. It’s not out of the ordinary. Their anxiety won’t define who they are anymore. Instead of seeing themselves as an “anxious kid”, they will understand that anxiety happens to them, it isn’t who they are. They have the power to control it.
As your child gets more comfortable with managing their emotions, they also become better at describing their emotions. They see themselves as a caring, empathetic person. They understand their emotions and can use them to show affection and to explain their feelings. They’ll also be more aware of their strengths. This leads to the next benefit.
You’ll see your child grow in self-confidence. They’ll enjoy the experience of success as they manage their big emotions, navigate friendships and overcome fears. This self-confidence also develops their resiliency. Handling fears and emotions around small problems equips them to handle bigger problems. Your child is gaining strength every day. Their coping with anxiety: can you visualize it?
Their Friendships Change
Getting control over their anxiety and emotions definitely impacts their friendships. Your child becomes more open about how they feel and why they feel things. They are able to explain to their friends what’s happening for them. They may say, “I’m just really uncomfortable in large groups.” OR “I get stressed out when I’m someplace that’s really noisy, can we choose a different place?”
Their self awareness helps them to recognize triggers and find ways to cope with them, or to avoid them if possible. They’ll learn which calming techniques work for them and become experts at choosing when and how to use each technique. What great skills to have!
Your child becomes an even better friend to their peers because they develop empathy. Walking through tough things in life gives them a different perspective. They can share their struggles honestly with good friends who may be struggling as well. It’s always easier to support our friends when we have had to overcome problems in our own lives.
Their Family Relationships Change
Can you imagine a more peaceful homelife? Yes, that’s what happens. As your child understands how to calm their fears and anxious feelings, it brings calm to your home. If negative thinking is a problem, your child will find relief and become a positive part of the family. The sadness of negativity will be replaced with a happier child. One who laughs freely and whose eyes sparkle.
Their relationships with their siblings improves. They have learned to identify problems as “Small problems” versus “Big problems.” So conflict between siblings lessens. Lots of sibling conflict is Small problems. And your child knows how to manage those problems. They can relate better with their brothers and sisters.
Your child is less afraid of failure. Family life can be competitive. Being unafraid of failure makes them more resilient in relationships too. If there is conflict in relationships, then they know ways to work it out. They’ve been through tough situations and know they can succeed.
Can’t You Just See It Now?
I hope you’ve been able to visualize how life will change for your child. Visualizing is an essential part of goal setting. And I’m sure your goal is for your child to overcome their anxiety.
Your interactions with your child are life changing. You influence their physical and mental development everyday. Don’t you want to see what a difference you are making in their life? Helping your child gain the skills and techniques for coping with their anxiety is extremely rewarding. And the best reward is a closer relationship with the child you love.
Visualize Your Child Coping With Anxiety And Big Emotions
By Lisa Reichelt M.Ed., Parent Coach